Reinventing the Legend of King Roderick: Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Egilona
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Drayson, E. (2014). Reinventing the Legend of King Roderick: Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Egilona. Romance Studies https://doi.org/10.1179/0263990414Z.00000000078
This article explores the little-known play Egilona penned in 1845 by the talented Cuban writer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, renowned for her poetry, novels and letters yet virtually unrecognized as a playwright. The play's source of inspiration is the legend of King Roderick and La Cava, in which the last Visigothic king of Spain's passion for the beautiful daughter of Count Julian, his governor in Ceuta, was deemed to have precipitated the Muslim invasion of Spain in 711. Gómez de Avellaneda joins three other women writers from different eras, Mary Pix, María Rosa Gálvez and Dana Broccoli, who all found literary inspiration in the Hispanic king's dramatic love affair. Yet the great originality of Avellaneda's drama lies in her innovative creation of the tragic figure of Egilona, the wronged wife of King Roderick, never before depicted as a protagonist in the reception of the legend. Its dramatic plot uncovers the complex issues of racial and religious marginalization which also characterize Avellaneda's prose works, as the depiction of her heroine boldly challenges issues of patriarchy and politics as pressing in the mid nineteenth-century as they were in the early middle ages.
drama and theatre, King Roderick and La Cava, Egilona, Christians and Muslims, medieval history, myth and legend, gender, political crisis, racial and religious conflict
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/0263990414Z.00000000078
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246587